-1st John 1:7
A lot of exciting things have been going on in Stone Water lately. God is definitely moving His people. And speaking of moving, our study that has been on Friday nights is now being moved to Wednesday nights starting July 15th at a new time of 6:30PM. Its a new series starting up going through the book of James with Austin Covington and Eli Shirar. We are hoping to be able to bring out the powerful message in the book of James and bring out the desire of application in our lives and in the hearts of those in the study. We feel very strongly that what we study and learn needs to be brought out into our lives. James talks about being Doers of the Word and not just Hearers. This will be very key in this study. I pray that people will come and have a bigger desire to be Doers of the Word. "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin."
-1st John 1:7
So this is the first post of series thats going to be different volumes of updates of whats going on in Stone Water Church.
So this last week has been a powerful week where God has moved in so many hearts. To start things off we have a new member of Stone Water Church!
Andrew Wolf became a member yesterday (June 28th) He has not had an easy time coming and doing this. God has told us to raise up disciples,(Matthew 28:19) So that is our goal here. Andrew had been affected by God, for the first time in his life he had opened scripture to read on his own and had a desire to read more and more. That desire that God placed in him caused a learning of the scripture that he had never experienced before. But Andrew understands that in SW he has experienced correct doctrine, correct theology, accountability and a love that he needed. So Andrew has stood before the congregation and asked for accountability with his new church and was baptized the same day. Praise God!
Now adding a new member is something that would be enough to say that is was an amazing week, but something else happened that is equally a blessing. We now have a new elder! Mike Seaman is now a Pastor of Stone Water Church. And for months before anyone really thought about it Pastor Steve has always said that God appoints the elders of the church. It happens naturally because an elder is to have the right heart and motives behind what he does. And that very thing happened. Pastor Mike was recognized as an elder before he was. God blessed this church with plurality of elders like scripture speaks of and it is such a blessing to see God work in Stone Water Church.
Theology is something I don't think the churches in America like to talk about. That being said, that should frustrate us to no end. Theology means The Study Of God. Why would that be something that the church wouldn't want to talk about? Shouldn't we want to study God? Well thats the problem. No one is hardly being taught to truly study God anymore. They say "Theology is divisive!"...Really? If studying God and coming to the truth in scripture that God wants to reveal to you is going to cause someone to leave the church or a group to leave. Then maybe that wasn't a bad thing? If someone cannot submit to the authority of scripture then it boils down to a heart issue. Plain and simple. Reformed Theology requires sanctification, because we naturally do not want to believe it. Its natural...Well what else is natural about us?....That we are sinners? Now thats a red flag to me. If we are naturally sinners and we naturally want to say things like "Free Will" Then I see a similar problem from the root here. We are sinners and all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) So we want to say "No, I make the choice of salvation" And "Im not as bad as scripture says"
God has laid out scripture through the Holy Spirit to tell us how He has saved His children from eternal damnation. We cannot deny it even though so many try. It is by grace you have been saved and God has done it all. (Ephesians 2:8) God has a plan and that plan was laid out before the foundation of the world and that plan is still in tact and it will not change. (Ephesians 1:4) Is that not a beautiful picture of Gods love for us? That should humble us and bring us to our knees in awe in how much God has done for us, and we didn't have a thing to do with it.
So it comes down to a heart issue and because of that heart issue we don't take scripture as authoritative as we should. And the way we are supposed to take scripture and apply it to our lives is to have it rule over us. Every single thought and action is supposed to be filtered through the word of God. Now that is hard, but if we are having this aim in mind....Then reformed Theology should come up and be dealt with. And if it is dealt with correctly, by taking the whole of scripture from old testament to new. We would see and come to know something that is life changing.
So when I say church membership, do you know what I mean? sadly when we hear of church membership, for the most part, it isn't what it should be.
Church membership or better yet, a Covenant relationship in a church like we have in StoneWater is not like what most churches practice. Its a representation of the covenant that God made with us. Stating that "No matter how much you fail or don't do your part...I will still do my part." That is real church membership, this is what we at StoneWater are standing on.
How this usually plays out is like this.
1.Person in church meets with the Pastor and says they are wanting to make this church officially theirs and be in a covenant relationship.
2. If they are not baptized and are of course saved, then a scheduled baptism will be set for them.
3.The Pastor tells the congregation that this person has stepped up to be a member. They are given two weeks, within that time if someone in the church knows of a sin in that persons life then they are to either go to them in person and in private and address the sin in love to help them. Or it is taken to the pastor if better suited.
It may sound weird, odd or even unnecessary. But this is church. Not something to do on Sundays. This is a group of sinners coming together that have been renewed by Gods grace, and desire real, accountable relationships because we know that we cannot do this on our own. I hope this has given you a new insight into church membership, it is powerful, biblical and very fruitful. God bless.
Recap of Sundays church service over Genesis chapter 20.
We saw how quickly Abraham fell back into a routine that did not display the faith that Christians should have, even though Abraham is accounted righteous for his belief in God. (Gal 3:6)
So even though Abraham has talked and walked with God he still falls down and seems to lose faith doesn't he?
What a beautiful picture that should paint for us!
The gift of righteousness that God has declared for us is only dependent on one thing, and that is the finished work of Christ on the cross, and that is unfading and never failing! No matter how many times we fail, we can rest assuredly in the work that Christ has done, not our own.
"Works mean nothing to your salvation, it is our faith and who our faith is in. To have faith in the Lord, not works." -Pastor Steve Covington